DISCOVERY OF DATA IN PERSONAL COMPUTERS

The use of personal computers, whether laptops or desktops, for both work and personal matters, has become the norm. Litigation attorneys are now routinely requesting Electronically Stored Information (ESI) from parties’ personal computers. However, the discovery of ESI from personal computers raises a variety of privacy concerns. Some of these concerns have been addressed by the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and related court interpretations.

The following questions have been addressed in this article:

Will the new Federal discovery rules reduce the privacy of computer users?
Is there anything one can do to prevent opposing lawyers and experts from examining his/her company’s hard drives as part of any future litigation?
If the opposing attorney does not specifically request computer documents, can one withhold ESI?

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